Commentary: School boards can’t change history

Des Delgadillo, Online Editor
Des Delgadillo, Online Editor

Educational standards are being challenged again, after a Colorado school district recently proposed a new AP U.S. History curriculum that is “more patriotic,” creating a nationwide wave of protest from students and parents.

The proposed change comes on the heels of the College Board revising its curriculum last year.

Dreamed up by a new conservative school board majority in the Denver suburbs, the proposal looks to eliminate AP U.S. History materials that “encourage or condone civil disorder.”

Naturally what ensued in Colorado’s Jefferson County was civil disorder, with hundreds of students advocating for their right to an unabridged education.

High-level high school courses are meant to open students’ minds, a process made exponentially more difficult by a group of conservatives who think they can decide which parts of history we remember and what parts are fit to just sweep under the rug.

Our culture is constantly changing, and much of that change was initiated by civil revolt. To omit that tumultuous time from our students’ education would only do them a disservice as Americans.

I will not stand for my younger siblings going through school not learning about their trend-setting foremothers and forefathers, and I will not let them pursue an education without understanding the tears and blood that were spilt so that they may exercise their daily freedom online or in the lunchroom.

AP stands for “advanced placement,” implying that students who take courses like AP U.S. History are receiving the most comprehensive instruction available.

Combing through the textbooks and scratching the most significant moments in our history to me sounds like the opposite of comprehensive.

Since the protests in places like Jefferson got underway, The College Board, the company that distributes AP and SAT exams, have threatened to drop these districts, making it clear that the business in question is in support of future scholars having a sound education rooted in reality.

It is surprising and even troubling that school districts do not have a similar vision. Our nation’s history is a complex one with many moving parts, not all of them complimentary to us as a people. But cutting out the parts that make us feel uncomfortable is cutting the tongue out of the mouth of democracy.

It is imperative that something as petty as discomfort teaching something troubling about America does not impede the education of the future.

Des Delgadillo, a junior journalism major, is online editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by email at and on Twitter @DesDelgadillo.

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